Mobile Ecosystem – Components
Mobile is completely a different ecosystem. It is made up of many different parts that must all work seamlessly together. We can think of mobile ecosystem as a system of layers in which each layer reliant on others to create a seamless end- to-end experience.
Operators are what essentially make the entire mobile ecosystem work. The operator’s role in the ecosystem is to create and maintain a specific set of wireless services like voice data, SMS, MMS or internet access over a reliable cellular network. Users subscribe to different plans available to carriers.
Carriers provide mobile service over a network of cellular towers. Networks are commonly differentiated by generation. Right now, most users browse the mobile web on third generation (3G) technology. The growth of 3G and the rise of fourth generation (4G) technology are improving mobile browsing significantly.
The most recognizable component of mobile ecosystem is the mobile phone. Mobile phones have three main categories: Feature Phones, Smartphones, Touch phones and other mobile devices like iPads, tablets etc.
Platforms are the core programming language in which all software and services are written which run on devices. Its primary duty is to provide access to the devices. These are split into three categories:
Open Source: Free to use and modify like Android.
Proprietary: By device makers like iPhone,BlackBerry,Palm.
Licensed: by sold to device makers like Java ME, BREW, Windows Mobile.
Much like the Linux or Windows operating system controls your desktop or laptop computer, a mobile operating system is the software platform which controls/operates all applications that are residing on the mobile phone.
Operating systems have core services or tool-kits that enable applications to talk to each other and share data or services. OS are common in Smart Phones but rare in Feature Phones. The mobile OS will also determine which third-party applications (mobile apps) can be used on your device. Some of the most common are: Android, Apple iOS, Windows Mobile OS, BADA, Symbian, BlackBerry OS.
Now comes the role of developer, who has the control or access over the application framework or API released by one of the companies mentioned already. Application framework run on top of operating systems, sharing core services such as communications, messaging, graphics, location, security, authentication, and many others. These APIs are used to create applications, such as games, a web browser, a camera, or media player.
Several mediums are there through which mobile devices deliver information and content to the user. Different mobile medium types: SMS, MMS, mobile websites, mobile web applications, native applications, games etc. A mobile app is a software application designed to run on small, wireless computing devices or hand held devices such as smartphones, tablets, PDAs. Basically Mobile apps are of three types:
They are built for specific devices like iPhone or Android handsets and can be downloaded from their respective app stores. These apps can take full advantage of the device features including camera, location, contacts, etc. They can work on and offline and can pull data from web quickly.
Mobile web apps
These are not real applications; they are mobile websites. They are run by browser and typically written in HTML5.
They are somewhere between the mobile web app and native app. They can reside in app store and can be downloaded. They are built using cross compatible web technologies. Their code components can be reused on different mobile operating systems.
Mobile Application Development and Testing Tools
Different tools are available in market. Developers choose according to their platform.
• Android applications are developed with Android studio, Eclipse, Intellij-Idea etc.
• iOS applications are developed with XCode, AppCode, MonoDevelop etc.
• Windows mobile applications are developed with Microsoft Visual Studio etc.
Mobile Websites Development Tools
Mobile Application Testing Tools
There are many automation testing tools available in market. Tester chooses according to the platform. Example: Robotium, Appium, SeeTest, MonkeyRunner etc.
Mobile App stores
It is a distribution channel for mobile applications. An on-line store where users browse through the different app categories, view info and download the app at free of cost or on paid basis. Example: Google play store, Apple app store.